July 2013 Recap

Nicole Read

Ashley Read

Nicole's Favorite 

Ashley's Favorite 

Nicole's Challenge 

Debut Author Challenge

2013 Sequel Challenge

Contemporary Challenge

2013 Reading Challenge

Ashley's Challenge 

Debut Author Challenge

Paranormal Reading Challenge

Dystopia Reading Challenge

2013 Reading Challenge

I'm Waiting On The Dark Between by Sonia Gensler

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine to shine a spotlight on upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating!

This week I chose...

Title: The Dark Between
Author: Sonia Gensler
Release Date: August 27, 2013

Summary from Goodreads:
A supernatural romance about the powers that lie in the shadows of the mind, perfect for fans of Sarah Rees Brennan, Alyxandra Harvey, and Libba Bray.

At the turn of the twentieth century, Spiritualism and séances are all the rage—even in the scholarly town of Cambridge, England. While mediums dupe the grief-stricken, a group of local fringe scientists seeks to bridge the gap to the spirit world by investigating the dark corners of the human mind.

Each running from a shadowed past, Kate, Asher, and Elsie take refuge within the walls of Summerfield College. But their peace is soon shattered by the discovery of a dead body nearby. Is this the work of a flesh-and-blood villain, or is something otherworldly at play? This unlikely trio must illuminate what the scientists have not, and open a window to secrets taken to the grave—or risk joining the spirit world themselves.

Perfect for fans of Libba Bray? Well, that's me! This sounds/looks super creepy. But in a good way! And it reminds me a bit of In The Shadow of Blackbirds (which I loved). AND I love Historical Fiction and England! For all these reasons and more, I am excited to read The Dark Between. :D

What are you waiting on?


Our Top Ten Favorite Beginnings/Endings In Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's Top Ten list is "Top Ten Favorite Beginnings/Endings In Books (talk about books that started or ended just perfectly or with a bang OR you could do specific opening lines or last lines -- however you want to do it!)".

So this list is not absolute but are words/topics that make us hesitate.

Nicole's Top Five:


Ashley's Top Five:

What are your top ten?

REVIEW #144: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

\ Title: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Author: Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: February 21st 2012
Pages: Hardcover, 359 pages
Source: Audiobook from the Library

Summary from Goodreads:
A lyrical novel about family and friendship from critically acclaimed author Benjamin Alire Sáenz.

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is a slow moving novel about two unique boys sparking a one of a kind friendship that both saves their lives and changes them forever.  I chose to listen to the audio book. The narration was well done; the story was told from Aristotle's, who goes by Ari, point of view.  The two boys seem to be quite the opposites yet Dante is determined to keep Ari as a friend in spite of an accident, a move, and family issues.  Dante is the only true friend Ari has.

The friendship was something rather incredible.  Ari saves Dante's life without hesitation not thinking about the consequences. Even though Ari tries and tries again to push Dante away, Dante is relentless and will not give up.   Both characters are extremely well developed and very unique.  Saenz does a great job of explaining the history and background of each boy and how it has made them the people they are today.

My issue with the book was not the characters, nor the family dynamics, nor the friendship; it was the plot. The book truly is a story about how these two boys conquer and overcome the hurdles they are faced with in life.  There was not a lot of action, mystery, or love simply a lot of teenage boy angst and confusion.

Overall I had to give the story 2 stars, not because it was not well written simply because it was not for me. The story moved at a pace far to slow for my liking.  There were some important events that changed the dynamic of the story but nothing that I really enjoyed.  Others may enjoy the book especially if you are looking for a deeper more lyrical story about learning and not being afraid to be honest with yourself.  


MINI-REVIEWS #142 & #143: The Truth About Forever and This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

Title: The Truth About Forever
Author: Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Penguin Group
Release Date: May 11, 2004
Pages: 374, Paperback
Source: Audiobook, Library

A long, hot summer...

That's what Macy has to look forward to while her boyfriend, Jason, is away at Brain Camp. Days will be spent at a boring job in the library, evenings will be filled with vocabulary drills for the SATs, and spare time will be passed with her mother, the two of them sharing a silent grief at the traumatic loss of Macy's father.

But sometimes unexpected things can happen—things such as the catering job at Wish, with its fun-loving, chaotic crew. Or her sister's project of renovating the neglected beach house, awakening long-buried memories. Things such as meeting Wes, a boy with a past, a taste for Truth-telling, and an amazing artistic talent, the kind of boy who could turn any girl's world upside down. As Macy ventures out of her shell, she begins to wonder, Is it really better to be safe than sorry?

I can definitely see the appeal of Sarah Dessen books! She is a great contemporary writer and knows how to weave stories that involve more than just a cute romance. Her stories, as well as her characters, have incredible depth and they evolve in such a way that makes you feel good by the end. I am definitely a fan! 

The Truth About Forever was my first Sarah Dessen experience. And it was a fantastic one! I loved the book and I felt like it had a certain flare that makes it stand out in the contemporary genre. 

The game of Truth played between Macy and West is exactly what i'm talking about. It was adorable and a refreshing way for two people to connect. Dessen connected the game to the story beautifully and made it a steady element throughout. I really enjoyed this. And I loved their romance to pieces. The build-up was slow and the execution was sweet and believable. They were wonderful together.

And all the little details that surrounded Macy and Wes were wonderful additions to the story. The secondary characters were great, even the ones that I was less than charmed by. They each added a little something to the story. Even Jason and his peculiarities. And the catering job was a fun and amusing tidbit. 

Suffice it to say, I was completely bewitched by The Truth About Forever. So I immediately picked up This Lullaby. 

Title: This Lullaby
Author: Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Release Date: May 27, 2002
Pages: 345, Hardcover
Source: Audiobook, Library

When it comes to relationships, Remy doesn't mess around. After all, she's learned all there is to know from her mother, who's currently working on husband number five. But there's something about Dexter that seems to defy all of Remy's rules. He certainly doesn't seem like Mr. Right. For some reason, however, Remy just can't seem to shake him. Could it be that Remy's starting to understand what those love songs are all about?

Well this book was certainly unconventional! And in stark contrast to The Truth About Forever. But I enjoyed the change of pace with this one.

Remy is not your typical YA protagonist. She doesn't believe in love or happy endings. She doesn't get attached. She's very logical when it comes to relationships. Actually, she's kind of a heartless b when it comes down to things. But all things considered, I don't blame her. It's hard to believe in something when you've seen it fail so many times. And I did like that she was a blunt, don't mess with me kind of girl. It was refreshing and a bit amusing watching her lay into Dexter. 

Gosh I just loved Dexter. Yes he was a mess but he was a hot mess. And hilarious. This is a guy who came rocketing through her a girl's bedroom window because she didn't say goodbye. Just something about him was so endearing. I loved watching him get under Remy's skin.

And the friendships in the story was great. Particularly the soda-throwing shenanighans. These girls had each others backs through thick and thin. It was a nice.

Again, this is not your typical romance story but it was a lot of fun. This Lullaby shows the depth of Sarah Dessen's talent. I can definitely understand all of the hype surrounding her work and I will gladly recommend her books to other contemporary fans.


Stacking the Shelves (30)- July 27th

Stacking the Shelves - hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews features books that you bought, borrowed, rented from the library, received for review, etc.

This is what's on my shelf for upcoming reads:

 What books are stacking your shelves??

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